Videocon Industries is reportedly planning to sell a 25% stake in its DTH business D2H for $75 million to $100 million (Rs 367.5 crore to Rs 490 crore), according to Reuters. The report cites sources to add that potential investors include ICICI Venture, the PE firm of Indian bank, ICICI Bank and that Videocon has hired UBS to search for a potential investor. However, there was no official confirmation on the matter.
This comes just months after reports that Anil Ambani’s Reliance ADAG was selling 49% stake in its Reliance BIG TV DTH venture to one or more investors to raise Rs 2,000 crore to Rs 2,500 crore, following the hike in FDI cap in DTH to 74%. The reports had indicated that the group was already in talks with US cable company Comcast.
In September, Videocon D2H reportedly had a subscriber base of 4 million. The Indian DTH market has six private DTH Players with the largest one (in terms of subscribers) being Zee Group’s Dish TV with 9.2 million subscribers (as per its Q2-FY12 results). Tata Sky and Sun Direct already have FDI investments from foreign players Sky and Astro.
With subscriber acquisition costs going up and unfavorable tax conditions in states, the industry has suffered losses. Also, running costs including satellite transponder rentals and maintaining uplinking stations are capital intensive. Investment from PE firms would definitely aid in meeting capex costs.